4 Conditions That Mimic Dandruff- Part I

excerp from February 2012 Essence Magazine

Thank you Essence. This will help identify and clarify dandruff and other symptoms that resemble dandruff- dhb.

Dandruff which is flakiness on the scalp is actually a symptom of a condition called seborrheic dermatitis, an inflammation of the scalp. This is believed to occur when a kind of yeast feeds off the natural oils in our skin especially on area that produce a lot of sebum ( oil secretions) like the scalp. The yeast breaks down the oil and leaves behind an irritating substance that could lead to inflammation, which then causes excess cell turnover. The spike in cell production is what creates an abundance of unsightly flakes commonly known as dandruff. In other words, if you often notice white scales in your hair or along your edges, you probably have seborrheic dermatitis.

There are scalp problems that can look just like seborrheic dermatitis but aren’t. If these symptoms sound familiar, see a doctor,


This itchy condition is also known as atopic dermatitis.  It typically shows up as scaly, rashy patches on various parts of the body but can also surface on the scalp.


This is a more inflammatory condition that causes severe, thicker flakes than seborrheic dermatitis.


Tinea capitis, also called ringworm of the scalp, is a fungus that causes infection and inflammation.  It can result in scaling and hair loss.


When a product or salon treatment causes redness and scaling of the scalp, it’s called contact dermatitis.  Unlike seborreheic dermatitis, symptoms usually go away quickly.


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